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  1. #21
    Member Irwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    As a former lawyer I can tell you: A huge number of people are largely stupid and prone to moral failure.
    Late last night, while perusing YouTube videos as I am want to do before bed, I stumbled upon an interview of James Holmes--the Aurora theater shooter. He was brilliant in the realm of science, math, and computers, but utterly inept, socially. Put him in an environment where all that matters are social skills and he'd inevitably be deemed stupid.

    What struck me was his immaturity and complete lack of remorse for what he did. He was kind of giggling when he talked about things like the "tasty meal" he ate before the interview. He claimed that he committed the murders because he was depressed and thought that shooting up a movie theater would ease his depression. When asked if it worked, he shook his head no. He was depressed because he was unable to relate to and connect with people. Autistic people are often like that, but I don't think he was ever diagnosed with that disorder.

    Holmes' committed a horrific act, but I doubt that his moral deficiencies were in any way related to his intelligence as it is typically measured. Another example is Ted Bundy, who was considered to be extremely intelligent.

  2. #22
    I don't think we should censor anything.

  3. #23
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    Note- I'm writing this from an entirely emotionless and academic point of view...I am not advocating any course of action or viewpoint....

    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    We talk a lot about personal responsibility, but we live in a world where car manufacturers are right now installing sensors on new cars in America because parents (and quite a large number of them) can't even be responsible enough to remember to drop off their kids off at daycare so they're getting baked to death while they walk merrily into work.
    These are the people that should have died a long time ago, from an evolutionary standpoint. Society and technology has subverted and changed the course of evolution for the last 10k years at least, moreso in recent centuries. The mom who leaves her kid in the car likely never would have made it to child-bearing age as a hunter-gatherer. Most people in the Western world drawing breath today could not survive should society collapse. They will huddle in fear and die in some ignominious fashion before too long.

    I hunt and fish and camp in the wilderness, though I am still a dilettante compared to many, and it would be a crap shoot if I could survive more than a couple weeks, if that long, out there.

    There is an underlying social dependence in our psyches. This existed prior to the agricultural revolution, of course- we are a social animal that relies on community for survival. But back then we were only one step away from the person that hunted our meat or helped build our shelter. We were all connected and interdependent. Everyone in the group directly contributed in some way to the survival of that group. Today, the only time I truly have any idea where my food comes from, for example, is when I pull an egg from the coop or some meat I've harvested myself from the freezer. We live in a world where a person with absolutely zero survival skills can survive and even thrive. This has to do something to the underpinnings of our human psychology.

    We have no agency any longer. We do what we're told when we're told. Bosses and governments and social pressures...everywhere we look we are being told how to be, act, and think and rarely have to do it for ourselves. The parent that forgets their kid in the car has been programmed their entire life to be a lemming, an automaton dancing to the jangly tune of commercialism.

    There are moments, and they are becoming more and more frequent, where I think the best thing for the human species would be a complete breakdown of the social order where we return to a primal state. Maybe some remnant of a memory of the idiocy of this time might survive and, should we survive, there could be a do-over.

    Back to the point...I really don't have a thought to spare for the outliers at either end of the bell curve. If someone reads something I wrote and decides to go on a killing spree, I'm not responsible for that. If we only do the things that are acceptable to 100% of the population we all might as well check out now, what's the point of living in that world? In that world I could not even have made this post.
    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  4. #24
    Speaking as someone who is targeted by the people in question, I can assure you that there is no shortage of censorship. Unfortunately.

    In various media, social and public, people regularly air views that I should be harassed, tortured, or killed, often with somewhat credible plans of action and sickening levels of detail.

    These are always allowed to stay up. No action is taken to remove them.

    If I express annoyance about the cultural behavior of any subset of violence or historical verifiable bad behavior from xtn c/h yt mn as a statistical entity, I immediately am attacked and censored. At no point did I ever suggest that people should be killed, like the people who are always defended in such issues. Any anger about being exposed to danger is unacceptable and treated as a moral defect.

    Earlier this week, a good friend of mine was "assaulted in several ways" for existing. She is 6'3", and immediately suspect for not having a stereotypically small feminine build. I learned it from a social media post that was carefully moderated and couched cryptically.

    From hard learned experience of me and people like me, if I express anger about the unfairness of this publicly, I will be seen as "too political", subject to take down. It can be used to jeapordize any traditional publishing contracts I might have, possibly even to the point of the publisher demanding a refund of my advance.

    When I see mention that the people who actively promote my death have had some loss of platform too, I smile. If only because it is evidence that in the black box world that judges what I say once it gets beyond people I don't interact with directly, their platform of murder and hate is almost as socially unacceptable as my saying "Please don't rape, torture, and murder me for the crime of being born".

  5. #25
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dluuni, that's an important perspective. And that's a tough call, honestly. As a white, heterosexual male in the US I have a lot of luxury/privilege to say nothing should be censored, that we should let the nutjobs out themselves so we know who they are and they can be marginalised. But that doesn't take into account those that are the targets of said nutjobs. No matter what, this is a highly complicated topic.
    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by velo View Post
    Back to the point...I really don't have a thought to spare for the outliers at either end of the bell curve. If someone reads something I wrote and decides to go on a killing spree, I'm not responsible for that. If we only do the things that are acceptable to 100% of the population we all might as well check out now, what's the point of living in that world? In that world I could not even have made this post.
    The problem is, we already do cater to the 'outliers at either end of the bell curve'. That's basically the entire premise of civilized society.

    Take something like alcohol: I am personally an absolute champ with alcohol. I can consume twice the legal BAC limit and driven across an entire state with no problem at all. I did that sort of thing a few times as a youngster, enough that I'm fairly certain it wasn't just dumb luck. I have never got a single traffic ticket in twenty-three years of driving, much less a DUI. This suggests to me that the BAC limit, as it is, was not designed for people like me. On the other hand, they were most definitely designed for people like my brother-in-law, who is the same age and yet has already lost his driving privileges twice for driving while intoxicated - once in a McDonalds drive through going approximately zero miles per hour and yet still managing to ram a bollard, once for crashing his car into a neighbor's house in a neighborhood going twenty. He, and people like him, are the reason we have the alcohol limit set how it is. Because people like him do not know their limits, cannot take mitigating action, and their poor choices cause harm to themselves and others.

    But who is the real outlier there? I don't think it's me. If the majority of people could not drive safely with a BAC at 0.9 when the law says anything above 0.8 is intoxicated, then practically everybody who gets into a car after visiting a bar would end up dismembered or in jail. But, of course, that does not happen. Not everybody, or even most, people who drive slightly drunk end up causing accidents. OVI/DUI laws are therefore clearly crafted as a baseline, a line that takes into account the reasonable benchmark of hazard for those who are most prone to getting it wrong, and the rest of us have to deal with that. And we accept this, or should, because we understand the rules cannot be tailored to individuals as part of the social contract. That relying on personal responsibility in areas where there is a potential for harm to result just doesn't work.

    So, when we talk about censorship in art, I think it probably has to be thought of the same way. I feel like there's no point in saying 'nothing should be censored' or 'why should idiots spoil it' or any version of those arguments, not beyond wishful thinking anyway. The idiots will always spoil it. Unless we want to start killing off or otherwise removing them from the picture, we therefore have to take them into account.

    Dealing with it then becomes a matter of balancing the freedom to own a gun versus the freedom from getting shot by an idiot or a psychopath. That's not an easy dilemma. It requires nuance in the crafting of legal framework. It requires debate (and not on Writing Forums). For me, it is certainly debatable whether a book should be spoken of in terms of its propensity to inspire havoc...but its much less debatable that if a book was found, after thoughtful and qualified review, to be the primary cause behind crimes being committed (crimes in the plural, I don't think a one-off should necessarily be sufficient - it would need to form some sort of pattern of behavior) then that book could and should be censored. Doing otherwise would seem to be an abdication of responsibility. It's largely a hypothetical at this point, in terms of fiction, but not a terribly unfathomable one in today's climate.

  7. #27
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more. Where to draw the line is always the question. Balancing the needs of the many with the dangers or vulnerabilities of the few.
    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    When I see mention that the people who actively promote my death have had some loss of platform too, I smile. If only because it is evidence that in the black box world that judges what I say once it gets beyond people I don't interact with directly, their platform of murder and hate is almost as socially unacceptable as my saying "Please don't rape, torture, and murder me for the crime of being born".
    Yeah. I always find it deliciously ironic when this sort of thing happens. Like when Trumpers express outrage at getting denied service at a restaurant. These are the same people who, a few short years ago, were all about letting bakers deny service to gay couples. It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to not see the problem there, but here we are.

    I think the kind of censorship you describe is a little different, in that it largely stems from an individual's belief system rather than any justification based on possible harm to society. Even the most bat shit crazy homophobe tends to argue their wish to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people based on their 'conscience' rather than any wider social risk. It's a tough one, because those people aren't arguing from a perspective built on evidence but belief, and you really can't argue with people whose world view rests on 'because the Bible says so'. I don't think anybody, at least not on here, is going to argue that censorship against a person based on identity is acceptable.

    I generally support free speech, on the understanding that free speech is not 'the freedom to spout gibberish or nasty shit without consequences'. No platforming should be a last resort, but I support it as an individual or organizational choice. I also support the right for a University to let David Duke speak if they so desire, again on the understanding that we are all free to drag said university through the mud for mainstreaming malignant views - especially if the university receives any kind of public funding.

  9. #29
    I think censorship just proves the censoring authority is insecure about its position of power and feels threatened by the ideas it tries to suppress. Which in turn proves that its propagandists have been doing a piss-poor job indoctrinating citizens with the desirable ideas, whatever the authority in question defines them to be. A properly-indoctrinated populace will flat-out reject undesirable ideas on their own, making censorship unnecessary.

    On a personal level, I would gladly see certain groups suppressed and persecuted for spreading ideas with the potential to cause very real detriment. I would not support censoring them in any way, however, for the aforementioned reasons. Let them speak out loud, so that if and when the time comes, the authorities and the citizens alike will know whom to drag out in the streets and shoot first.

  10. #30
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberWar View Post
    I would not support censoring them in any way, however, for the aforementioned reasons. Let them speak out loud, so that if and when the time comes, the authorities and the citizens alike will know whom to drag out in the streets and shoot first.
    Well, citizens anyway. I don't think the gov't should be involved at all. There are a lot of market forces at work here. I do think, in the vast majority of cases, the nutjobs will be marginalised and dismissed as crackpots. There is a right to free speech, but there is no right to be listened to.
    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

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